Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Man Cave: Culinary Evasion Tactics

Kathy is a great cook. She does most of the cooking in our house, and as a general rule she makes tasty, healthy meals. No matter how good a cook one is, however, there are gonna be some duds, and over the last 22 years Kathy has had her fair share. What follows are my sure-fire techniques for coping with such situations. Enjoy.

You walk in the door from work and find the wife has decided today is the day to try boiled squid. You wanted pizza. What to do? With a little quick thinking and strong stomach the situation is survivable. The following is a Man Cave Approved list of culinary evasion tactics. Each item is field-tested and proven effective in suppressing and managing culinary emergencies.

10. Eat it and tell her you like it. This tactic only works for the first few years of marriage. There will come a point at which she will see through this ruse. At that point, fall back and resort to another strategy.

9. Feign illness. Go to bed immediately. Caution: this could jeopardize your chances for nooky for a few days. Use only in extreme emergencies.

8. Visualize dessert. Keep your eyes on the prize, and let it become your reward for running the gauntlet of dinner. If there is no dessert in sight, treat yourself to a solo DQ run. Come back with flowers to cover your lie.

7. Offer to help make dinner. Use this "in" as a rouse to alter the recipe or prepare a counter-balancing side dish. She makes brussel-sprout casserole, you cover it with bacon, cheese, and bread crumbs. She makes some funky Asian recipe with raw fish and cold noodles, you make pepperoni-pizza-bread to go along with it.

6. Salt. Lots of salt.

5. Dish up the kid's plates first. Use their complaints as a smoke-screen. Defend your wife with pseudo-support phrases such as "your Mother worked hard on this meal" or "there are children in this world that don't even get to eat tonight", but avoid at all costs the phrase "if I can eat your mother's cooking then so can you". If it slips out accidentally refer back to tip #9.

4. Dish up the kid's plates first. Give them the lion's share. Less for you. This is the grown-up's version of spreading your food around the plate. Never combine this with tactic #5. The kids will only take so much before they mutiny.

3. Fill up on the the punch. A gallon ought to do it. "Gosh dear, I'm stuffed. I couldn't possibly eat another bite." Avoid this tactic if you're having milk. Trust me.

2. Use humor. If the dinner is really bad you can attempt to make it a "family bonding moment". Joke about it. Take pictures. Laugh. Love. When you sense the time is right suggest pancakes instead. Using this tactic is just like when Tom Cruise decides to accuse Jack Nicholson of ordering a Code Red at the end of A Few Good Men. It's a massive gamble, but when it pays off it is sweet!

1. Offer to take her out for dinner. Claim you have been planning it as a surprise for a week. Tell her you don't mind if the dinner she was making gets're in the mood be spontaneous and extravagant (chicks find that romantic). You get what you want, she gets what she wants. Win, win.

Disclaimer: This list is provided as a service, with no warranty expressed or implied. Use at your own peril. Neither Family Strong or The Man Cave will be held responsible for direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of this list. Every situation is different. Friends don't let friends eat squid.


  1. hmmmm... not sure how to take this one ;p. I will admit that there have been a few duds in our life time. I mean, really, you have to weed through the bad to find the good. Right off the bat "Orange Chicken" which turned into chicken floating in orange juice and "Homemade Pasta" come to mind. And, yes, we DO have a picture of the homemade pasta. What a disaster! Just two nights ago we were trying a new "Lasagna Soup". After about 15 minutes we both just looked at each other and then made grilled cheese sandwiches. BUT, I have NEVER made squid or brussel-sprouts (nor will I ever) and we have found some amazing recipes in the process. And, word of caution, #4 and #5 only work of you have smaller children. Teens and Adult children will just walk away and get their own food later.

  2. I love this. Now what tips do you have if the woman doesn't want to cook but there are no eating joints within about 25 miles? That is the question I want answered!

  3. Weldon and I just had a heated discussion on this very subject last week. I told him to read this too. He will be glad to know that he's not the only one caught like a deer in the headlights when it's dinner time.